In Maryland, an "assault" encompasses the crimes of assault, battery, and assault and battery. Assault is the attempted touching of another person, without that person's consent, and includes the act of placing someone in fear of an intentional touching. Battery is the unlawful and offensive touching of another person without that person's consent.
In Maryland, first-degree assault is defined as causing serious physical injury to another individual. According to Maryland Code § 3-201(d), "serious physical injury" is defined as any physical injury that causes protracted or permanent impairment or loss of a bodily organ or member, disfigurement, or a substantial risk of death. In addition, any assault involving a firearm or other dangerous weapon is considered first-degree assault. Under Maryland Code § 3-202, a firearm can be defined as a handgun, rifle, shotgun, antique firearm, short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle; and assault pistol; a machine gun; or a regulated firearm.
The penalties associated with a first-degree assault conviction in Maryland can include up to 25 years in prison, as well as a felony conviction reflected on your permanent record. Other penalties could include probation, house arrest, restraining orders, driving restrictions and more, depending on the circumstances of your case.
Second-degree assault is defined as causing physical injury, or any impairment of physical condition, to another person. Any unwanted physical contact can be considered assault, even if it doesn't ultimately cause injury. Under Maryland Code § 3-203, a person who is convicted of second-degree assault is subject to imprisonment of up to 10 years and/or a maximum fine of $2,500. However, anyone that commits second-degree assault on a government agent, such as a law enforcement officer, is guilty of a felony, subject to imprisonment of up to 10 years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.
Defenses to assault include self-defense and lack of evidence. The penalties associated with both first and second-degree assault in Maryland could alter the course of your life forever. The experienced Maryland assault lawyers at Portner & Shure with a solid track record of success will examine each aspect of your case to build a solid defense that leads to our acquittal or a reduction in your charges and/or penalties.